Mon 30th June 14 :

New participation points scheme unveiled by WRU


A new £750,000 scheme to provide free equipment amongst the community rugby clubs of Wales has been unveiled by the Welsh Rugby Union.

Thousands of items ranging from playing kit to scrummaging machines will be on offer to reward the most active clubs with direct help.

The one-off Participation Points scheme will reward clubs with points based on set criteria which they can then exchange for goods.

The WRU is preparing a brochure which will show clubs what equipment is on offer and detail the number of points needed to claim specific items.

Over the summer clubs will be advised how many points they have and they can decide which items they want to claim under the scheme.

The catalogue sent to the clubs contains an order form to be completed with a list of each product the relevant member club wants to receive.

The number of participation points each club has been awarded is based on criteria such as the number of teams from U7's to senior and women's sides plus factors such as the number of first aiders, match officials and coaches.

This is the second Participation Points scheme unveiled by the WRU as in 2010 the governing body distributed £1m worth of items.

The aim of the project is to deliver equipment to clubs which has a direct and instant impact on their ability to encourage more participation at grassroots level.

The commercial team at the WRU is negotiating with suppliers to ensure the maximum buying power of the £750,000 is achieved, so that bulk order discounts will mean even more equipment on offer.

The Group Chief Executive of the WRU, Roger Lewis, said: "We are delighted to be able to deliver this £750,000 worth of help to the heart of Welsh rugby where it will make the biggest impact.

"Our first Participation Points scheme in 2010 got a fantastic response from clubs so we are certain this one will be just as well received.

"The great thing about the scheme is that it is very simple to take part in and there is no financial cost to the participating clubs.

"We have used the experience gained from the 2010 Participation Points scheme to identify equipment which we know the clubs want and we can therefore be certain it will make a real difference to their ability to deliver their specific rugby needs."

WRU Chairman, David Pickering, added: "This scheme is a great means of giving clubs a range of equipment which will dramatically improve the ability of all their teams to play and train efficiently.

"We have said we want to keep listening to our clubs on a range of issues and this scheme is a clear example of how the WRU engages with the real needs of our members in a very practical way.

"Overall this scheme will deliver direct rugby benefits to the game in Wales and can only help improve standards from the junior to the senior level in our clubs.

"We all know the challenges faced by our grassroots clubs so we aimed to direct this moneystraight back into the areas where it can accomplish most good."